Social marketing asks questions like these to determine what types of media to use, how to allocate resources, and what the mix and schedule of marketing strategies should be in order to influence how individuals interact with and respond to products and services. It seeks to inform the delivery of competition-sensitive and segmented social change programs.
Rebecca Firestone, a social epidemiologist at PSI with area specialties in sexual and reproductive health and non-communicable diseases, speaks to us about the importance of designing programs that do not just operate in a market but which actively facilitate the market. Ultimately, she says, the goal is to ensure "equitable access to products and services that are going to help people lead healthier lives."
In Myanmar, where the economy is opening up, PSI is working to ensure that the commercial market for condoms is allowed to grow while also finding avenues to deliver condoms to those people who cannot afford them on their own.
PSI's "total market approach" is a system which all sectors - public, socially marketed, and commercial - work together to deliver services for all population segments. The goal is to ensure that those in need are reached with the appropriate products-whether that be through the provision of free products for the poorest segments of society, partially subsidized products for those segments in the economic middle, full-price products from the commercial sector for the affluent members of society.
Social marketing develops and integrates research with best practices, marketing theory, and audience and participation insight to influence behaviors in a way that is beneficial individuals and their communities.
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